Chris Cameron photo of dingo with piglet

Vortex winners announced: Best short hunting story

Three Sporting Shooter readers have won fantastic Vortex optics in the 2022 Hunter’s Diary competition, which is supported by Extravision Australia and featured a Venom 5-25×56 scope as first prize!

Meanwhile, we’re taking entries for the 2023 Hunter’s Diary competition, for which Extravision has put up almost $4000 worth of Vortex optics as prizes that you could win with a short story and a good photo!

The winning story of 2022 is published below but first, congratulations go to first-prize winner Chris Cameron, whose unique yarn and photo is outstanding. It was published in the June 2022 edition of Sporting Shooter.

Second prize of a Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50 scope has been won by Ally Glasby, whose wild-dog hunting story was published in the August 2022 edition.

Third prize of a set of Vortex Viper HD 10×42 binoculars was won by Jake Turnbull for his goat hunting story in the May 2022 edition.

Have a read of Chris’s amazing tale and then get started on your own to win some awesome Vortex optics!


I had grown up in sheep country where dingoes were an ever-present threat, to be hunted down at almost any cost. I moved to sugar-cane country in tropical North Queensland, where feral pigs are a hugely destructive problem, destroying both the standing crop and the structure of the flood-irrigated, kilometre-square fields. Once the cane grew over waist high it became nearly impossible to get to
the pigs in the blocks.

Having plenty of water and food all around them, they had little reason to come out, though they occasionally did, giving me a bit of a chance to cull. Ranges varied enormously so I mostly used my flat shooting .257 Weatherby. If I could see them clearly, I could get them! I was soon given the job of pig control on the huge property, as well as my regular work – very welcome, if challenging. I shot almost 400 there.

One afternoon I went out along an irrigation channel where there was a bit of headland, and saw three big sows and a dozen or so piglets. Just as I was about to start down, wearing my very effective home-made yowie suit, a movement caught my eye. It was a big dog trotting towards the pigs, head up
and alert, but making no effort to stalk.

Intrigued to watch, I stopped and readied camera.

The dog came across the remains of one of my previous kills and paused for a bit of a chew. There wasn’t much left, so he continued on, still trotting steadily on the short, recently slashed headland. When he was well within 50m of them, one of the sows spotted him, turned quickly with the rest and trotted (not galloped) around the corner of the cane block – out of my sight, sadly.

The dog simply kept trotting and went around after them.

I waited a few moments, thinking that the show was over, when suddenly the dog raced back around the corner with his throttle jammed open, carrying something and heading straight towards me! No sign of mum pig.

At flat gallop it took only moments till he was back to me, noticing me when less than 20m away. He didn’t waver, going straight past carrying a very-much-alive and protesting piglet who had a dinner date he really could not refuse!

The dog deviated slightly before disappearing into the next block.

Pig grieving time is obviously short. Within 15 minutes the mob was back out feeding and it was my turn, quickly rolling the three sows. The dogs would quickly tidy up!

– Chris Cameron




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